B.C. to allow private/public sale of weed, sets minimum at 19

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Get ready. Set. Toke?

The provincial government will allow for private and public sales of recreational weed and has set the minimum age of purchase at 19 in anticipation of federal legalization which is expected to be introduced in July 2018. B.C. will also have a government-run wholesale model, similar to the way liquor is sold, for non-medical weed.

Those details and more were released Tuesday morning and come after the government conducted a public consultation seeking feedback from British Columbians. Some 48,951 responses were received, along with 141 submissions from local and Indigenous governments and other stakeholders.

“Looking at the responses received, it’s clear that British Columbians support the priorities of protecting young people, health and safety, keeping the criminal element out of cannabis and keeping roads safe, which will guide the Province in developing B.C.’s regulatory framework for non-medical cannabis,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth in a statement.

According to the guidelines shared by B.C. Tuesday, the minimum age to possess, buy or consume recreational cannabis will be 19 years old, the same as for alcohol and tobacco.

Similar to the framework introduced by other provinces, the Liquor Distribution Branch will also be the wholesale distributor for non-medical cannabis in B.C.

Additionally, B.C. – which already has a number of independent dispensaries and cannabis businesses established – will put together a retail model that allows for both public and private businesses to sell marijuana. Those details will be shared in early 2018.

“We thank all British Columbians who provided their input during the important public and stakeholder engagement process,” said Farnworth.

“We will continue to consider your opinions as we further develop policy and legislation that is in the best interests of this province, ensuring a made-in-B.C. approach to the legalization of non-medical cannabis that will keep our roads and communities safe, protect young people, and promote public health and safety.”

A teleconference is expected at 1 p.m. Tuesday with Farnworth.

More to come.


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